Word uses hard coded line height for Helvetica, Times, Baskerville, and Old Face TamilSangamMN???

Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 998
edited October 10 in Font Technology
Today I learned something interesting about Microsoft Word; for most fonts, Word uses the vertical metrics in the font file, but for some, Word has its own "hard coded" line height values for (at least) the following families:
  • Helvetica
  • Times, Baskerville Old Face, and TamilSangamMN (which all have the same vertical metrics)
I say 'at least' because there's probably more families, just a guess on my part though...

Does anyone know if there is anything unique about those 4 families that necessitated hardcoded line height values?


  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,458
    Is it possible that at some point in time these families were updated and the vertical metrics changed? In which case, Word might have hard-coded the old line height to preserve backwards compatibility and avoid document reflow?
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,109
    Typical Mac user, trying to leave horse compatibility behind the instant they get this crazy “engine” thing going! Sheesh....
  • @Mark Simonson has a point. Microsoft could preserve compatibility and still be a bit more forward looking. E.g., thy could enable kerning and OpenType features for new documents. That would not cause any reflow. 

    And when they where really concerned about reflow, making the document frame not dependent on the current printer driver. So people need the same version of the printer driver to get the same result. 
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